I am presently employed as an enrolled nurse on the bank of a large general trust hospital in the north west of England. I qualified as an enrolled nurse in 1972. At present I work on a male medical ward, which has twenty-five beds. Some common disorders which patients suffer from in the area where I work are: Complication of Diabetes, Chronic Pulmonary Disease, Chest infections, Hypertension, Chronic confusion. I estimate that 80% of our patient fall within the 55 to 80 age group.
There are common factors with most of these people, they often feel frightened about being in hospital and they feel vulnerable. Many have no family or friends for support. This is their hour of need and if communication is poor they can suffer even more.
The RCN adviser in nursing practice Rosie Wilkinson (2000) tells us "we tend to think of vulnerability as only applying to people who are older, disabled in some way or children.
We should acknowledge the simple fact that if someone is ill they may feel vulnerable" She also quotes "as a patient you may talk to a consultant who is wearing a smart suit. If you are half dressed you will feel vulnerable". My motivation to look further into this subject arose from various different encounters. While waiting for my pin number (about three months), I worked as an auxiliary nurse for the bank during which time, I covered many different wards. I didn't tell the other auxiliary nurses that I was an enrolled nurse, as I wanted to feel part of the team. This was my biggest eye opener. They would talk in the presence of the patient about their night out, how many pints they drank the night before and how that person was "trashed". The conversation was...